Monday, May 21, 2012

How Your College Is Selling Out to Big Ag

Source: Mother Jones

There's this eye-opening new report from Food & Water Watch (FWW) that documents in painstaking detail how the food and agrichemical industries have transformed our national public agricultural research infrastructure into essentially an R&D and marketing apparatus for their industry.

FWW reminds us how ag-research institutions like the University of Illinois started: as so-called land-grant universities, launched by the federal government on public land in 1862. The idea of the land grants was to generate agricultural research, funded by the federal government, that benefited society as a whole. And that's pretty much how things went for the first century. "Well into the 20th century, seed-breeding programs at land-grant universities were responsible for developing almost all new seed and plant varieties," FWW writes. It might have added that those varieties were public resources, not owned or patented by any company.

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